Mary Arden (judge)

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The Right Honourable
Dame Mary Arden
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Lady Justice of Appeal
Assumed office
Monarch Elizabeth II
High Court Judge
In office
Personal details
Born Arden
(1947-01-23) 23 January 1947 (age 70)
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Jonathan Mance, Baron Mance
Alma mater Girton College, Cambridge
Harvard Law School

Dame Mary Howarth Mance, Lady Mance, DBE, QC (born 23 January 1947), née Arden, styled The Rt Hon. Lady Justice Arden or Dame Mary Arden, is an English judge and lawyer. She currently serves as a judge on the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.


Mary Mance was born in Liverpool. Her grandfather was a partner in Gamon Arden and Co., a Liverpool firm of solicitors. Her father and brother, Roger, joined the family firm which merged with Hill Dickinson in 2007.[1] She was brought up in south Liverpool and educated at Huyton College.[1] She read law at Girton College, Cambridge, and took an LLM degree at Harvard Law School in 1970[1] as a Kennedy Scholar. She married fellow barrister Jonathan Mance (now Lord Mance) in the Lady Chapel at Liverpool Cathedral in 1973; they have three children together[1] - two daughters and a son.

She was called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1971,[2] and joined Lincoln's Inn in 1973. She practised at Erskine Chambers from 1971 to 1993, mainly in company law.[1] She became a QC in 1986, and served as Attorney-General of the Duchy of Lancaster.[3] She is an Honorary Fellow of Royal Holloway, University of London, and of the Liverpool John Moores University.[3]

She was appointed to the High Court on 30 April 1993,[2][4] becoming the first female High Court judge to be assigned to the Chancery Division just one year after Dame Ann Ebsworth became the first assigned to the Queen's Bench Division. As is customary, she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) at the same time. Her husband joined the Queen's Bench Division in October 1993, making them the first married couple to sit on the High Court bench. That feat has now been matched by Sir Peter Openshaw and Dame Caroline Swift. Arden was chair of the Law Commission from 1996-99.[2]

Her husband became a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1999. A year and a half later, on 2 October 2000, she was also appointed to the Court of Appeal,[2][5] becoming only the third female judge to sit on the Court of Appeal, after Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (now Baroness Butler-Sloss) in 1988 and Dame Brenda Hale (now Baroness Hale of Richmond) in 1999. The couple became the first married couple both to sit on the Court of Appeal.

In February 2013 she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[6]

Other posts held by Arden include her membership of the Steering Group of the Company Law Review, and a current post as Head of International Judicial Relations for England and Wales.[2] She is a member of the Advisory Board, Centre of Commercial Law; of the Council of the Statute Law Society; of the Board of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, as well as being President of the Trinity Hall Law Society, and of the Association of Women Barristers.[1] She is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.[7]


Judgments of Mary Arden include:


  • with George Eccles, Companies Act, 1980 (1982)
  • with Geoffrey Newton Lane, Rotaprint PLC: Investigation under Section 432 (2) and Section 442 of the Companies Act 1985 (1991)
  • The Common Law in the Age of Human Rights (2000)
  • Human Rights and European Law: Building New Legal Order (2015)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Rt. Hon Lady Justice Mary Arden - Oration". Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Biographies of the Court of Appeal judges". Courts and Tribunals Judiciary. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Honorary Fellows 2006". Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 53295. p. 7925. 6 May 1993.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 55989. p. 11135. 5 October 2000.
  6. ^ BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour Power list,; accessed 29 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Women at the Inns of Court" (PDF). Inner Temple Library. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  8. ^ [1995] FSR 365
  9. ^ The history of advertising 17 - Chris Joseph's silver, 3 June 2011
  10. ^ [2000] 2 All ER (Comm) 346
  11. ^ [2001] 1 WLR 1369
  12. ^ [2002] EWCA Civ 227, [2002] 1 WLR 2075
  13. ^ [2004] EWCA Civ 1244
  14. ^ [2007] EWCA Civ 11
  15. ^ [2007] EWCA Civ 1329, [2008] 1 WLR 643
  16. ^ [2008] 3 C.M.L.R. 7
  17. ^ [2008] Fam. 54
  18. ^ [2009] EWCA Civ 142
  19. ^ [2011] 2 W.L.R. 448
  20. ^ [2014] EWCA Civ 360

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